Soccer-Lazio criticise Polish policing of Legia match

Reuters

ROME, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Lazio have criticised Polish police for their handling of a Europa League match against Legia Warsaw that was marred by violence outside the stadium on Thursday.

Police said they detained around 120 Lazio fans after trouble before the match in Warsaw but the Italian club's sporting director Igli Tare questioned their version of events on Friday.

"On Thursday morning we received a group of fans who feared for their safety and through both the club and the Italian Embassy tried to ensure it," Tare told Sky TG24.

"We spoke to the police to have our fans escorted to the stadium, and they agreed, giving us a well-known bar in Warsaw as the meeting point. However when the police arrived, the fans weren't taken to the ground, but instead taken to police stations."

Tare said the fans were not hooligans and the Italian embassy had tried to help them.

"Something happened but there was no violence," he said. "Even after the game our fans asked for an escort but the police offered nothing and we had to organise a service of 60-70 taxis for them."

Lazio qualified for the knockout stages of the competition after winning 2-0.

While police said Lazio fans had thrown bottles and stones at their vehicles, the Rome-based daily Il Messaggero quoted fans saying they were attacked by local hooligans and given no police protection.

Italian embassy official Riccardo Guariglia said they had received a list of Italians who had been stopped for offences ranging from damage to vehicles to aggression against police.

"The vast majority of the fans will most likely receive a fine, but there are others who may have broken laws that can be considered more serious," he said. (Reporting by Terry Daley, editing by Alan Baldwin)

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